1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Kilian, St

KILIAN (Chilian, Killian), ST, British missionary bishop and the apostle of eastern Franconia, where he began his labours towards the end of the 7th century. There are several biographies of him, the first of which dates back to the 9th century (Bibliotheca hagiographica latina, Nos. 4660–4663). The oldest texts which refer to him are an 8th century necrology at Würzburg and the notice by Hrabanus Maurus in his martyrology. According to Maurus Kilian was a native of Ireland, whence with his companions he went to eastern Franconia. After having preached the gospel in Würzburg, the whole party were put to death by the orders of an unjust judge named Gozbert. It is difficult to fix the period with precision, as the judge (or duke) Gozbert is not known through other sources. Kilian’s comrades, Coloman and Totman, were, according to the Würzburg necrology, respectively priest and deacon. The elevation of the relics of the three martyrs was performed by Burchard, the first bishop of Würzburg, and they are venerated in the cathedral of that town. His festival is celebrated on the 8th of July.

See Acta Sanctorum, Julii, ii. 599–619; F. Emmerich, Der heilige Kilian (Würzburg, 1896); J. O’Hanlon, Lives of the Irish Saints, vii. 122–143 (Dublin, 1875–1904); A. Hauck, Kirchengeschichte Deutschlands, 3rd ed., i. 382 seq.  (H. De.)